I spend so much time trying to eat healthy and teach others to do the same. I get tons of questions about organic foods, but almost none about GMO.
I thought it would be a good idea to share with you what GMO means, and why you should pay attention the controversy about GMO foods if you care about eating healthy.
The acronym GMO stands for genetically modified organism. It refers to any living organism whose genetic material (DNA) has been changed in a laboratory environment.
What does this have to do with your food? For the last few decades commercial companies have be changing the genes in certain food to improve the availability of crops to consumers.
GMO plants have been modified by using a combination of plant genes, animal genes bacteria genes or virus genes. These combinations do not occur naturally instead they have been modified in laboratory environments.
The crossbreeding of plants, animals, bacteria or virus genes to create different plants is a new science that doesn’t create stable combinations in foods or in nature. These new plant forms and how they will affect the environment, animals and us as humans, are creating controversy around the world.
Because of the controversy the several countries like China, Australia and European Union require labels on GMO foods. Currently the United States does not require labeling of its GMO products.
Some of the most common examples of GMO foods are corn, tomatoes, beets, potatoes, squash, rice, soybeans, canola oil and salmon.
Some of the modified foods are not on the market for public consumption, however they are in some stage of testing or approval phase with government agencies.
Due to this new technology involved in our food supply there are pros and cons for continuing to have GMO-based foods.
Proponents of using GMO foods believe:
• GMO-based food will create higher yields of food to feed more people
• GMO plants can resist pests so do not require as many chemicals for growth
• GMO plants can be grown with more nutrients to be more nutrient dense
Opponents of using GMO foods believe:
• GMO foods could produce super weeds